Renowned scholar and voting expert Warren Miller died Jan. 30

April 18, 2007

ANN ARBOR—Former University of Michigan political scientist Warren E. Miller, one of America’s foremost authorities on electoral politics and voting behavior, died from complications from diabetes Jan. 30 in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 74.

For nearly half a century, Miller was active in the continuing research on U.S. elections at the Center for Political Studies (CPS), which he founded at the U-M Institute for Social Research (ISR). This series of biennial surveys before and after every national election was formally established as the American National Election Studies at CPS by funding from the National Science Foundation in 1977.

Miller, who taught political science at the U-M from 1956 to 1981, was the director of CPS from 1970 until he left for Arizona State University, where he taught from 1982 until his death. Earlier, in 1962, he created and became the first executive director of ISR’s Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, which now houses the largest archive of quantitative social science data in the world.

In 1960, Miller co-wrote “The American Voter,” the leading original scholarly work that influenced a generation of political pollsters and reporters. He also wrote the 1966 landmark book “Elections and Political Order” and recently extended his past work with a major volume on voting behavior, titled “The New American Voter.” In all, he wrote nine books and numerous book chapters and journal articles.

As a consultant for ABC News, Miller originated the term “projection” to describe anticipated election results. He also helped found and became the first president of the Social Science History Association in 1979 and served as president of the American Political Science Association in 1979-80.

“Warren Miller defined central elements of the social sciences and political science at Michigan and in the scholarly world in general,” said John E. Jackson, U-M professor and chair of political science. “His intellectual contributions, his institutional efforts at the ISR and the many scholars he was instrumental in recruiting to Michigan leave an indelible print on the University for which we will be forever grateful.”

CPS Director William Zimmerman, U-M professor of political science, said that Miller played many roles at Michigan and later at ASU.

“He was an imaginative and indefatigable intellectual and organizational entrepreneur whose creations are still prominent,” he said. “He was a forceful and persuasive scholar whose work set an agenda for decades and which was continuing even as he was weakening. And, most significantly, he was a generous and supportive colleague, mentor and friend.”

Born Miller is survived by his wife Ruth S. Jones, also a political scientist, of Scottsdale; son, Jeffrey R. Miller of Indianapolis; and daughter, Jennifer L. Miller, who lives near San Diego. Remembrances should be sent to: Warren E. Miller Fellowship, Centennial Campaign Fund/APSA, 1527 New Hampshire Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036-1206.

American Political Science Association